CEEPAL hosts 'novel green picnic' for students in Pakistan

Students, teachers and environmental club leaders from 28 CEEPAL member schools enjoyed an eco-friendly day of participatory learning at a local park.

CEEPAL in Pakistan hosted an eco-friendly picnic and day of environmental learning with more than 100 students, like the young woman above.

By CEC member Attia A. Qutub Coordinator CEEPAL-PIEDAR

The ‘Novel Green Picnic’ was not only an enjoyable learning experience for the young members of the Center for Environmental Education through Participatory Action Learning (CEEPAL) programme. It was an excellent practical example of nature-based solutions to climate change.

The organizers selected a local park; The Rawal Lake View Park for transport they arranged for busses in order to save resources (gas) and reduce air pollution.

The participants displayed handmade napkins by reusing old cloth. Twenty one students got books in appreciation for practically demonstrating REUSE, one of the 3R’s of environment. All the crockery and cutlery was brought from home the young ones sat in a big circle exhibiting their reusable utensils! This step instilled in the minds of the members that disposable plates, forks, glasses may be convenient but they only add to the waste they most certainly are not environment friendly. It is through these activities that everybody learnt nature based solutions to, reduce waste, save resources, save money in order to mitigate climate change!

This Novel Green Picnic taught not only the young ones but, all those present the importance of valuing and conserving biodiversity. It also enhanced the knowledge of the participants regarding their local biodiversity.

Students were happy and excited as they assembled and walked to the lake front they read and noted the pictures and information of the Margallah Hills indigenous birds and animals which was mentioned on the boards. Knowledge about the artificial Rawal lake which supplies water to Islamabad and Rawalpindi was provided. Both the teachers and the students listened with keen interest and participated by giving ideas on the importance of water, how to purify drinking water, benefits of trees both to humans and animals, being kind to nature realising that every species has a value and role in nature. It has a right to exist, whether or not it is known to be useful to humans. Their attention was drawn to the fact that, humans have gained so much power over nature; they should conserve all the species. Emphasising the fact that valuing and conserving biodiversity is an ethical and moral issue.

A family of ducks huddled behind thrushes was a scene of great interest to the young ones. Beautiful stalks were walking in groups merrily across the walk ways and in the garden! It was heartening to witness the knowledge of the green ambassadors of change, and how one student Raheel very ably linked the chain of environment and humans he also read a beautiful poem on water!

The pioneers for greening the environment were asked to wash their hands with soap and water properly before they sat down to enjoy the eating low on the food chain picnic, a novel idea!

This Novel Green Picnic took place on first of November 2011 in which ,twenty eight CEEPAL member Schools one hundred and twelve students and thirty teachers participated .Undoubtedly this mega event was the best thing that happened this year in the CEEPAL programme while positively advancing the CEC strategic plan as well as contributing to the emerging IUCN priorities. 

For more information, contact Attia A. Qutub Coordinator CEEPAL-PIEDAR, attia.qutub@gmail.com

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